Russell follows pipeline to Alabama A&M

The Division I baseball pipeline to Alabama A&M University continued for another Marshalltown Community College sophomore.

Ty Russell is the latest Tiger to commit to the Bulldog program, the school announced in a press release Wednesday.

Russell posted back-to-back .300 seasons at the plate for the Tigers and will be on the Alabama A&M roster with three other former MCC Tigers – Justen Folger, Andrew Utterback and Ben Ryder.

The former catcher-turned-first baseman had a career .337 batting average over two seasons at MCC and blasted nine home runs during that span, including eight this past season as a sophomore.

The Canada native had 92 hits in his Tiger career and was named to the all-Region XI first team as a freshman and was a second-team pick this past season. Russell, who was an athletic training major, also was a two-time academic all-region first team honoree and earned the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement Award after posting a 3.71 grade point average this past school year.

Russell will join three former Tigers who have posted solid starts as Bulldogs.

Utterback was voted Southwestern Athletic Conference Hitter of the Year along with collegesportsmadness.com Field Player of the Year after hitting .406 and leading the program to its first 20-win season. That .406 average was tops in the conference and 16th best in the nation.

Folger collected 31 hits as the team’s primary second basemen, while Ryder tossed 54 1/3 innings on the mound, including a team-best 12 starts.

Russell, Folger, Ryder and Utterback all were teammates at MCC in 2013 and that foursome helped the Tigers reach the Region XI Division I championship game. Russell also led the Tigers to another trip to the championship game in 2014.